It was my custom to study my character at night, when all the domestic cares and business o f the day were over. On the night preceding that in which I was to appear in this part for the first time, I put myself up, as usual, when all the family were retired, and commenced my study o f Lady Macbeth. As the character is very short, I thought I should soon accom plish it. Being then only twenty years o f age, I believed, as many others do believe, that little more was necessary than to get the words into my head; for the necessity o f discrimin ation, and the development o f character, at that time o f my life, had scarcely entered into my imagination. But to proceed, I went on with tolerable composure, in the silence o f the night (a night I can never forget), till I came to the assassination scene, when the horrors o f the scene rose to a degree that made it impossible for me to get farther. I
snatched up my candle, and hurried out o f the room, in a paroxysm o f terror. M y dress was made o f silk, and the rustling o f it, as I ascended the stairs to go to bed, seemed to my panic-struck fancy like the movement o f a spectre pursuing me. At last I reached my chamber, where I found my husband fast asleep. I clapt my candlestick down upon the table, without the power o f putting the candle out; and I threw myself on my bed, without daring to stay even to take o ff my clothes.